06, 2003 09:10 PST
In a message dated 12/6/2003 10:47:55 AM Eastern Standard Time,
Who says that one foot of circumference should be 12 times as
one foot of height and 48 times as important as one foot of
average (not even
maximum) crown spread?
Bob & all,
I follow every thread. Though, initially, I was inclined to
(to Bob's question) estimate of live oak volume (1,500 to
2000?). But, in
light of much discussion since, I wonder about this. Live oak is
dream. Rather than being upright, the scaffolds are mostly
parallel with the
ground-this makes for easy limb-walking. The angles of the
branches and the
thickness of the crown, make more some most interesting
sculpting. No other tree
can be sculpted around structures with such elegance, and yet
But getting back to my point. Probably no other tree get's as
dense as live
oak. The oak that grow along the South's coast may be thick
"snowshoe" across the canopy (though, I wouldn't try
it!). Underneath those
leathery, evergreen leaves, tough enough to withstand centuries
of sandblasting, are
numerous branches, limbs and twigs, which, for volume, are very
strong (maybe to hold up to the East's many hurricanes). But, my
point is this.
If you have a 10 to 20 foot tall trunk, that's 10 to 12 feet in
often get's larger the higher you measure), leading off with
(some 6 feet in diameter), to a crown that can exceed 170 feet,
I just wonder,
if one were to meticulously measure the volume of most every
and limb (excluding twigs), if there would not be as much, if
not more volume,
than say a 10 to 12 foot diameter cylinder, close to 190 feet
those that have climbed live oaks much, they can tell you just
how dense these
crowns can become.
Also, the later sapwood growth rings on older live oak trunks
grow at a
slower rate than newer branch and limbs in the crown. What am I
relatively small trunk of live oak (none stronger), can support
an amazing large
crown. I think we've focused so much on measuring huge conifer
boles, that large,
spreading crowns may have been slighted, as it relates to points
measuring volume. I have never measured volume. Am just a
previous live oak
climber, making an uninformed observation. Am I terribly off
base in this? If
there is good justification for Will and I to maybe climb a
large live oak
(like the Middleton) and measure the complete volume?
To further make my point. Please find attached a 34kb JPEG image
Saint John the Divine Cathedral Oak in Lafayette, LA. Though an
tree, it has a relatively small trunk (8 or 9 feet in diameter?)
several sizable scaffolds that extend a considerable distance
from the tree.
One, you have to be amazed that such a small amount of trunk
wood can support
such a huge crown, that has been buffeted by many hurricanes.
Two, you have
wonder, if all those leads and branches were pulled back into
cylinder, if it would not be a greater volume. Please comment,
06, 2003 09:40 PST
Hopefully BVP will chime in on this one, too...
As massive as the limbs are, it takes an astonishing amount of
equal even a small section of fat trunk. Also, many limbs on
not cylindrical, and though may be 8' in "diameter"
may only have 50-60% of
the volume of an 8' cylinder per given length. A limb of such
would soon diverge and split into smaller and smaller sections
rather insignificant to the entire volume (as in a small
would agree that live oaks have massive amounts of limbs that
out-weight the short trunk- no small feat in the arboreal world.
We will have to climb and find out!
Live oak volume
06, 2003 11:31 PST
Bob & all,
You may well be correct. Like you say, we will have to find out.
The 8 ft
trunk (squared) of the Cathedral Oak is 64 cross-sectional feet.
couple leads may be as large as 6 feet, for argument sake, let's
say that it has 8
leads averaging a modest 3 foot diameter, you have 3x3=9 9x8=72.
So it may
well be possible to exceed the trunk cross-sectional area (64).
has numerous leads of almost cylinder proportions that extend a
distance with at least 2 feet in diameter (held up by huge
props). Also, many
live oak's diameter are twice the size just 10 or 20 feet off
the ground (the
Cathedral may be triple).
After we've measured it, we may still come short of trunk
volume, but I can't
think of another species that might challenge this theory. If a
live oak was
11 feet at it's smallest girth, and 30 feet to the top of the
(where the huge leads spread out), within this round trunk, one
cut out a 10x10x30 foot section, which would possess 3,000 cubit
including any of the huge, spreading scaffolds. This has the
having a larger volume (just for the trunk), then the previous
estimate of 2,000
(?) cubit feet of volume for the entire tree. If you took just
the bottom 20
feet of the Middleton Oak, you could easily have 2,000 cubit
feet. I know you
could say that a cylinder has less volume, but much of the trunk
than d.b.h., if not twice as large. Which would push volume back
cubit feet. What am I missing here?
Live oak volume
06, 2003 14:34 PST
Assigning diameters to theoretical trees doesn't get us
anywhere. Some so-called champion live oaks have no trunk at
all, and most are quite squatty. Some have flaring bases, some
don't. A few carry a trunk to a modest height, but may be of
indifferent diameter. So, if we're looking for a live oak with a
significant volume, we have to refer to a specific specimen.
That said, the whole matter of volume quickly becomes apples and
oranges. Typically, volume has been restricted to the main trunk
of the tree. This follows the examples of exceptional board
footage records for yellow poplar, American elm, shortleaf pine,
white pine, white oak, and most of the western conifers. Such
records were based on the merchantable portions of the main
trunk, including multiple tops.
Wendell D. Flint set the standard in rating giant sequoias by
volume. His measurements were limited to the entire main trunk
above grade. He included the bark, and made no deductions for
burns and hollows. He did not count roots, limbs or foliage. Van
Pelt carried the definition a bit further, noting that coast
redwoods often had numerous reiterations, which he included.
In the east, The Senator has been measured, including only the
main trunk. Tuliptrees, hemlocks and white pines have been
measured. Adding some percentage for limbs has been discussed,
but adds little, and hypothetical values invalidate the more
exact measurements. The Bushnell YP500 rangefinder has proved
useful in measuring diameters at any height, providing a means
to model trunks without climbing. This allows separate
calculations of volume and board feet.
So, comparisons with The Senator are restricted to measurement
of the main trunk, pretty much as viewed by a lumberman, except
for adding the stump and the bark, and making no deduction for
hollow logs. The squatty structure of live oaks is ill suited
for such a comparison.
There's been some discussion about measuring the total volume of
a tree - trunk, limbs, twigs, the works. Of course, it's hardly
possible to measure a standing tree directly, but I explained
how the volume of the Wye Oak could be estimated from large
sections that fell and were weighed in their entirety, truck
load by truck load, at a nearby feed mill. As I recall, the
total came to 5,000 cubic feet. Until someone accurately weighs
one of the largest live oaks in its entirety, we won't know the
limits for the species.
By accepted volume standards for the main trunk, The Senator, at
4200 cubic feet, has no close competition in the east.
Hgt, Cir, Spread or vice versa
06, 2003 14:34 PST
Good history and good points as
usual. You’re probably right about the compromise formula
being here to stay. But as you correctly observe, there can be
other lists and there can also be other formulas and/or other
In ENTS, we use sines, cosines,
and tangents to calculate tree heights. We devise methods to
arrive at dubious measures like average crown spread, which BTW,
can be done with greater precision by circling the tree and
taking 8 or more measurements of crown extension. Will and I
worked out two pretty fair methods for doing this with lasers
and clinometers that would approximate the average crown spread
by measuring the horizontal projections of the longest limbs
within sectors with my method and the longest spreads in Wills.
I think Will and Michael Davie did some experiments shooting
across from one to the other, rotating, and shooting again, etc.
My method treats the trunk like the hub of a wheel and the limbs
as spokes, but not with opposite spokes. I’m always shooting
to the trunk. Thus, my average for the crown spread becomes the
average spoke length x 2. Will’s method may be better, but
requires two people.
Although I too have traditionally
downplayed crown spread as the least important of the 3
measurements, and being redundant of circumference, in the case
of the large spreading live oaks that we’ve been seeing in the
images, I'm much less confident. It seems that spread need to
play a larger role for trees that put so much energy into
creating massive limbs structures. I’m reminded of the very
different proportions of the limbs of open grown sugar maples as
opposed to the oaks as a group and especially the live oaks. The
sugar maple’s limbs narrow down rapidly. They actually look
disproportionately small just a few yards from the trunk
relative to the overall size of the tree. The white ash’s limb
dimensions suffer similarly.
Maybe it is time we shift some of our
focus from trunk to limbs, at least for a while, until we’ve
developed better species profiles and determined if there are
substantial differences between open grown hardwood species in
terms of how much wood goes into limbs versus the trunks. This
is where the arborists among us should shine.
humungus among us
06, 2003 16:13 PST
Maybe I've gone off the deep end with respect
to the huge live oaks that Randy Cyr and Will Fell have been
showing us. If so, please, someone tell me. However, it seems
from several of the photographs that the proportion of wood has
shifted from an overwhelming dominance of the trunk below the
point of major branching to a significantly higher percentage in
the limbs. Maybe it's time for me to get new glasses, but if
what appears to be the case in the photographs holds, it raises
lots of potentially interesting questions about the relative
proportions of limb versus trunk wood among the species. The
can't proportions can't all be the same, can they? If large
limbs grow outward then drop to the ground, take root, gain
support and grow back upward again, isn't it reasonable to
assume that there's an opportunity for more wood to accumulate
in that kind of structure than in upward-point limbs? Or might
it actually be similar? Some genetic thing. Well, my eyes tell
me that different species have different proportions. Limb
shapes aren't uniform among the species.
Let's face it, a lot of limbs are fairly
inaccessible to measure unless a tree is cut down. How many
felled trees are meticulously measured to develop a database of
proportions for different species?
I hope Will can break free and team up with
Randy to measure the pizzazers out of one of the huge live oaks.
Then we can take some smaller hardwoods and model them just to
see how the percentage of wood in limbs versus the trunk varies.
Live oak volume
06, 2003 17:35 PST
a message dated 12/6/2003 5:34:52 PM Eastern Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org
...Assigning diameters to theoretical trees doesn't get us
I don't "assign" anything. If a prod is needed for us
to face reality, then
so be it. The dimensions I gave were based upon the Middleton
Charleston, S.C. and the Cathedral Oak of Lafayette, LA (which I
times). Some of the other's comments have been based upon actual
that I e-mailed them. The Middleton Oak image has dozens of
around, under and even climbing the trunk. It really does exist
hypothetical theories. I can't help it if live oaks in other
areas of the Country
are less than impressive. I live 3 hours from Charleston and
have never had
any affliation with their mayor or interest in promoting tourism
...Such records were based on the merchantable portions of the
including multiple tops...
For a century, many of the gulf's live oaks were harvested to
(many were warships), which were not only merchandise, but were
used to transport
merchandise. The large scaffold's are comparable to
"multiple tops" of the
East's upright trees and coast redwood's numerous reiterations
smaller), they only grow horizontally in the open to deflect
winds. These scaffold's proved most useful in shipbuilding.
...Tuliptrees, hemlocks and white pines have been measured.
percentage for limbs has been discussed, but adds little, and
invalidate the more exact measurements...
Maybe they add little to upright forest trees, but if live oaks
"squatty", then much of the tree is beyond this point
(just comparing apples with
...Until someone accurately weighs one of the largest live oaks
entirety, we won't know the limits for the species...
I beg to differ, Sir. As I imagine would Bob and Will. We don't
wait until one of these "squatty" trees fail, or rely
on a laser's one meter
accuracy, to know approximately how much volume there is in a
given tree. Will
and I can physically climb the tree, and record the necessary
data for Bob and
others to come up with an approximate volume (as I understand
it, it was upon
such challenges that ENTS was birthed).
...By accepted volume standards for the main trunk, The Senator,
cubic feet, has no close competition in the east...
That may well be true. But I wouldn't bet my life on it. The
not have much else but "a main trunk" (I have numerous
JPEG's images & a role
of 35mm film to prove it). And from what Will tells me, much of
"hollow". I doubt there is any hollow in the very
healthy and sound Middleton Oak.
A broader audience may want to know just how much volume there
is in a given
species (excluding roots, leaves, twigs, galls, burls,
Spanish moss, cicadas, tree crickets & "so-called"
champion tree plaques). My
images are already out there. I know from personal observation
that there exists
10-foot plus diameter, 20-foot tall live oak trunks. That fact
incontestable. With basal and crown flare, the volume will
likely exceed 2,000 cubic
feet. Since open grown live oaks grow mostly horizontal,
"MOST" of the volume
will be above this point (whether this fits into a stricter
not). Let's go climb a tree and settle any argument. Or are we
tradition? I was under the impression that this organization
pushes the envelop
(rather than getting left behind holding the bag).
Live oak volume
06, 2003 17:43 PST
A cylinder 15' in diameter 20' long would have 3535.4 cubic
to nearly five cylinders 7.5 feet in diameter (one half the 15'
As you can see, volume decreases rapidly with diameter. You
would need a
cylinder nearly 8 feet in diameter and 20' long to get 1000 ft3.
diameter to 6 feet and you have lost almost half the volume (565
Hard thing is, trees are not cylinders nor do they have parallel
make adjustments in our volume calculations to account for this.
hardwood like a live oak would be an intense challenge to model.
ridges and furrows, curves and elbows all make the models and
PITA, but presents a challenge that needs to be undertaken.
07, 2003 07:50 PST
A few comments on the South Carolina live oaks, modeling them,
looking for improvements in tree comparison formulas, and
continuing the ENTS mission of site documentation. In a word,
this is what we do. We need not be apologetic about it. We're
not American Forests nor do we want to be. But who says that AF
or any other organization, including ourselves, has a monoply on
tree knowledge or interest in big trees? We can respect the
efforts of others on tree comparisons, development of champion
tree formulas, champion tree lists and the likes, but we
shouldn't stiffle ourselves by fearing that we're violating some
sacred trust or covenent if we experiment with what is obviously
an already weighted, heavily compromised comparison method.
What's the big deal? We're not saying the others should adopt
our comparison methods. We're not planning to publish an
alternative big tree register. We've never seen ENTS as in
competition with either AF or the states. Some of us just want
to experiment with different weights to achieve an order among
large trees that we know either locally, regionally, or eastern
wide. So long as we keep that limited purpose in mind, we won't
lose perspective on our role. We won't get too big for our
Will Blozan, and several others of us have
wanted ENTS to function as a behind the scenes support structure
for both the national and state champion tree programs. That has
not changed. In fact, we now have some daylight with the state
programs and hope to make the support mission a big one. I am
increasingly optimistic that our message will get through.
Newcomers may get surprised at some of the
tones on the list. At times folks get a little testy over an
issue, but all in all the ENTS list is pretty tame. We tested
the limits of contentiousness in the forestry debates and taht
was okay. We discussed some valid issues and problems, but we're
not a professional forestry organization. There is a limit to
how far we should go in exploring pure forestry issues. Other
lists are more appropriate for that where heavy and prolonged
concentation on an issue is appropriate. But for us, every
thread we begin can't be allowed to end up as a repetitive rant
about high grading and forestry licensing in Massachusetts. We
did lose list members over that nonsense and it won't happen
However, tree measuring is our issue and will
continue to be the subject of many e-mail conversations and
differences of opinion are welcome - but, with respect to
measurement methods, it isn't a case of everybody's approach
being equally valid. As Russ Richardson correctly recognized,
we're taking thwe art and science of tree measuring to a new
level in the East. That is what ENTS is all about. Who's ready
to model a live oak?
07, 2003 08:30 PST
I am including a table from a chapter I wrote for a book called
that will be coming out in Spring.
Our canopy sampling protocol, which is the subject of the
methods for structurally mapping ANY tree - even banyans. The
three-dimensional data sets include information on volume (of
including branches and twigs) and also surface area.
As can be seen from the table, tall forest grown trees such as
Doug firs or
Eucalypts have about 8-10 percent of their volume in branches.
The Tane Mahuta (the southern hemisphere's largest tree), a tree
with a vast
crown, has about 38 percent of the total volume in branches. A
such as the Mill Creek Monster might have 12-15 percent branch
volume. Some of the live oaks are nearing 100 percent.
Regardless of the percentage, the branches are difficult to
measure and nearly
impossible to model.
If this is attempted on any of these trees, I will be all over
- I will bring my harness, equipment and can design a sampling
Live oak volume (Middleton Oak directions & map link)
07, 2003 09:32 PST
a message dated 12/7/2003 11:13:28 AM Eastern Standard Time,
...can you give me a location so that, on my own time, I can
Middleton Place in about 14 miles NW of Charleston, at 4300
Road. There'll be a gate charge (unless, of course, it's in
their PR interest to
allow free entry). It's a huge plantation. Most people are
interested in the
East's oldest formal gardens. If you ask where the largest oaks
liable to say, "They're everywhere." Which is so true.
The Middleton Oak is
straight to the back, near the Ashley River. After reaching the
if you follow the river downstream and flank towards the right,
encounter several oaks in front of and behind the many old
buildings and farmyard.
While most plantation seekers head to Boone Plantation (the site
of many films &
an impressive "oak alley"), this place has larger live
oaks, as does other
plantations along the Ashley River Rd (Hwy 61). In fact, there
every few miles along this road. If you make it to the
Middleton, you might
as well go a few miles down the road to Magnolia Plantation at
River Rd. The oaks aren't quite as large, but Magnolia has the
Garden, unlike anything I've ever seen. Here is an impressive
collection of huge
sweet gums and bald cypress, with white bridges over the
plenty of alligators underneath (they're even occasionally seen
in winter!). If
you go in the spring, you might want to catch the azalea peak
fabulous and a photographer's paradise). Below is a map link.
Live oak volume (Middleton Oak)
08, 2003 12:31 PST
Bob, Bob & others,
I just got off the phone with Middleton Place's PR person
(David) and TCI
Magazine's editor (Mark). They both expressed interest. We will
need to fill in
the blanks for a commitment. Not only are we seeking permission
to climb &
measure their oak, but free admittance and lodging for 2 days.
must have an idea by now of what we propose to accomplish. In
what we've already discussed, I propose we look for a 1 day, 2
night window in
mid-January. We're looking for a dry, windless day of at least
60 degree F. We
would check-in (hopefully at the Plantation) the night before,
entire day measuring (and coring, if they allow), spend the
night, and leave the
next day. The model would be worked out in the next few months.
involving TCI, Middleton may bring in some local media, and we
also should consider doing a paper (the Journal of Arboriculture
may want to publish it).
What I, David and Mark need from you is more details and
Here are some potential questions that we could address in our
Who will be involved? What are their credentials? What will
become of our
findings? Will the Middleton Oak be damaged? Will the work area
need to be
roped-off? Will it require security? Should
we invite the public? Will we
sign an appropriate waiver should anyone get hurt? Is
this strictly a nonprofit
venture? What will such a model mean to the
rest of the country? Will our
findings be authoritative? Do we need to bring
in Clemson, or someone like
Dr. Tom Smiley with Bartlett? What about our own scientists?
biomechanics and loading factors be a consideration? How many
climbers do we need?
Since BVP is coming across the country, what month or days of
the week favor
his schedule? Please forward within the next few days so I can
get back with
David & Mark.
Thank you for your attention,
Live oak volume (Middleton Oak)
08, 2003 17:03 PST
Good work. Looks like the project
is rolling. I regret to say that I won't be able to attend due
to my dear wife's medical condition. Will Blozan is the
president of ENTS and therefore the official ENTS voice for this
project. However, I'll provide preliminary input on some of the
questions to help get the ball rolling.
Question: What are their credentials?
Answer: In terms of tree measuring, ENTS credentials and
accomplishments speak for themselves. The folks at the
Plantation are invited to visit the ENTS website at www.nativetreesociety.org.
As evidence of ENTS's broad acceptance, we cite the following:
1. ENTS has a special research permit from the GSMNP to measure
and document forests there in a research capacity. The value of
ENTS input is recognized by the Park.
2. ENTS offers periodic workshops for tree measurers. The
workshops are co-sponsored by Cook Forest State Park, PA, and
Mohawk Trail State Forest, MA.
3. ENTS is a principal co-sponsor of old growth forest
conferences that are attended by many prestigeous colleges and
environmental and forestry organizations. Specific conferences
can be listed if desired.
4. ENTS is currently developing a guide for measuring champion
trees for the champion tree program for the state of Georgia.
5. ENTS is a forest research partner of the Forest Stewards
The qualifications of the two principal designers for the
proposed project follow:
Bob Van Pelt at the University of Washington is one of the
foremost scientists in the world studying and mapping forest
canopies and determining tree volumes. In addition, Dr. Van Pelt
is an author and the coordinator of the champion tree program
for the state of Washington.
Will Blozan, the ENTS president is a certified arborist and
former science technican with the GSMNP. Will has a widely
recognized reputation as a tree measurer. He has been featured
in articles, on T.V., and on radio. Will is a co-author of
"Stalking The Forest Monarchs - A Guide To Measuring
Champion Trees". He has climbed and measured the tallest or
among the tallest trees in South Carolina, Georgia, North
Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New
A sample of the credentials and accomplishments of other ENTS
members are offered to put the organization into perspective.
Dr. Lee Frelich, the ENTS VP, is the Director of the Center for
Hardwood Ecology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Frelich is
ENTS's principal research scientist and is presently developing
the protocal for an eastern-wide study of maximum growth
potential for selected species.
Dr. David Stahle, an ENTS co-founder, is the Director of the
Tree Ring Laboratory at the University of Arkansas.
Dr. Tom Diggins is the principal research scientist studying
Zoar Valley old growth in NY.
Professor Gary Beluzo is one of two individuals responsible for
the old growth inventory, mapping, and documentation for DCR in
Massachusetts. Robert Leverett is the other.
Dale Luthringer, the naturalist and educational director for
Cook Forest State Park, PA, runs the ENTS workshop for tree
Colby Rucker and Robert Leverett are members of a select
committee of American Forests to study and revise rules for
measuring champion trees.
I'll stop at this point, but the list can be expanded if need
Question: Is this strictly a nonprofit venture?
Answer: Yes. ENTS is an nonprofit organization.
Question: What will such a model mean to the rest of the
Answer: With respect to the whole counttry, this question can
probably best be answered by Bob Van Pelt and Lee Frelich. In
terms of the East alone. I'll put in my two cents worth in the
next couple of days. I'm sure those who plan to attend will do
likewise. However, I would like to encourage all ENTS members to
feel free to provide input on this question, especially the PhDs
on the list, since they are the heart of our research efforts.
Question: Will our findings be authoritative?
Answer: There will be none more authoritative, if BVP is
involved. Without BVP, the effort would be the best
determination made and authoritative to that extent. BVP brings
the highest level of expertise available.
Question: Do we need to bring in Clemson, or someone like Dr.
Tom Smiley with Bartlett?
Answer: This is potentially a touchy issue. If BVP shouldn't be
able to make it to SC and they would like to participate in
developing a model, then their participation, in a support role,
could be highly valuable to the project. If BVP makes it, then
they are not needed unless BVP and/or Will Blozan wants them,
since BVP would develop the measurement protocal. If they
specifically ask to be involved, I presume we would want to
extend the invitation to them. I can't think of a good reason
not to do that.
Question: What about our own scientists?
Answer: BVP is the most important scientist for this project and
he is a lifetime honarary member of ENTS. It would be splendid
if other scientists could join the effort. Lee Frelich and Tom
Diggins would be welcome additions. There are other scientists
on the list including Charlie Cogbill, David Stahle, Neil
Pederson, Larry Winship, Alan White, to name a few. They'll have
to speak for themselves. However, BVP is the key individual for
the particular project at hand. Canopy mapping research is not
only what Bob does, but what he pioneers.
Question: Should biomechanics and loading factors be a
Answer: If this stays a volume determination, I'm not sure why
we would expand into loading factors unless we're trying to
determine theoretical limits to structures. Others may see it
differently. It's BVP's and Will's call.
10, 2003 17:26 PST
These are exciting times for ENTS. The importance of the
Middleton Oak project to us isn't just in the mapping of this
one great tree, but in the imagination that both tree and
project stimulates. Today's eastern trees and forests have been
significantly diminished in the minds of amateur and
professional alike by the accounts of great trees of yesteryear
and the common sight of degraded forests. However, for those of
us who are taking the time to look, we are finding many fabulous
eastern trees alive today that are worth measuring, studying,
and mapping. We have individual trees and forest remnants
waiting to be discovered and documented for our present day
satisfaction and for posterity.
It is not beating a dead horse to emphasize that the enjoyment
or study of big trees does not fall within the province of any
single profession or individual background. ENTS, as an
organization, and individual members have a legitimate role in
the compilation of tree lists, the development of volume models,
and extending the eye of science. All this is our focus and has
been all along, but the Middleton Oak adds a touch of real
class. Spanish moss and gargantuan limbs extended for 70 feet
and more have power to energize a collective imagination and
keep us out of the rut we sometimes get in fretting over big
tree rating systems.
How big is the Middleton Oak? I have no idea,
but it is big enough to warrant the attention we plan to give
it, and after the Middleton Oak, then maybe the Mill Creek
Monster or another giant Smoky Mountain tuliptree. The data
coming from big tree modeling projects will find its way onto
the radar screens of more and more foresters, arborists, and
ecologists. It will happen. Of course, it won't be a first. The
big tree of the Pacific Northwest can never be looked upon again
as just convenient blocks of potential lumber. They are so much
more. Maybe the eastern trees aren't in the league of their
Pacific cousins, but it is time to take a much closer look at
the eastern giants, not only for their volumes but for the
habitat they provide for above the forest floor and the
development of forest processes that are not evident from the
The Middleton Oak and other live oak
giants of the Southeast may help us to recapture the mystery of
great trees. The shapes of these oaks jar us out of teh
well-behaved timber model- the kiss of death to imagination. And
to think that they've been there all along, they just weren't on
our radar scope. Now why is that? Oh, I'm being naughty.